HILL: The most important patriots you’ve never heard of

Gouverneur Morris and Robert Morris by Charles Willson Peale, 1783. FILE

Robert and Gouverneur Morris. No relation. Ever heard of them?

People think George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were the “indispensable” founders of the United States of America. Without financiers and fellow Founding Fathers Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, their lives most likely would have ended at the bottom of a noose around 1780. The Declaration of Independence would have been proven a bust and the Constitution would never have been written, which would have been a darn shame for liberty for billions of people worldwide since 1789.

Former speaker of the California State Assembly Jesse Unruh coined a cute phrase in 1962 when he said of campaign contributions: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

Since that has been proven empirically true for centuries, the Morrises’ money and ability to finance the actual and political revolution makes them the cash cows of the American Democratic Republic. Their money and financial acumen paid for the revolution so we can enjoy the benefits of freedom now 245 years later.

Those who finance the revolution towards liberty away from socialism today will be the Robert and Gouverneur Morrises to future generations, who will appreciate it one day as adults.

During the winter encampment at Middlebrook, New Jersey, in 1778-79, one year after Valley Forge, Washington was appalled when he was invited to parties in his honor in big cities such as Philadelphia. The spectacle of rich elites in towns feasting on roasted turkey, ice cold oysters, ham, beef and desserts of every kind while quaffing magnums of champagne — at the same time his troops starved, froze and foraged for wild game to survive the winter — enraged the general. Many of those same elite were making a fortune selling food and supplies to the British army because the pound sterling was worth something while the Continental dollar was not.

At the same time, the states were not providing their share of money to pay for the war effort. The first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, had no taxing authority to force states to comply with anything the Continental Congress passed.

So Washington turned to his friend Robert Morris. Mr. Morris not only paid out of his own pocket for the spies Washington employed to do reconnaissance on the British troops and a cash bonus to keep soldiers from going home after their enlistments were up, he and Gouverneur Morris used their considerable financial skills and acumen to find ways to finance the war effort until a victory treaty was signed in Paris in 1783. The Morrises also guaranteed loans on their own credit to finance the war effort which at the time was extremely risky.

How much is freedom, liberty and a free-market system worth to you? Is it 10% of your annual income? 10% of your total net worth? 5%? 1%?

No percent?

Ninety-five percent of the American public never contribute to any political campaign, candidate or cause. Let’s assume half of them support conservative policies. They are not willing to contribute one single penny to keep America free and prosperous no matter what their financial status may be. They might as well go ahead and tell the socialists, “Come on in and take over; we are not going to do anything to oppose you.”

Less than 5% of the American people ever contribute any money to a political campaign in a given year. Less than 2% of Americans contributed any amount over $200 to any campaign in 2020.

A teeny-tiny percentage of people, about 0.2%, or 500,000 adults nationwide over age 18, gave the maximum amount to any federal candidate, $2800 per election cycle, in 2020. An even more miniscule number of people give truly large amounts of money to independent expenditure campaigns, although the socialist left has done a great job getting hundreds of millions of dollars from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and George Soros lately through networks such as Arabella Advisors, located in Washington, D.C.

Robert and Gouverneur Morris chose to use their wealth, financial resources and acumen to help America win independence. They valued freedom enough to risk their entire fortunes to provide it for us. Not just 10% or 5% or only 0.0001% of their wealth, but all of their wealth.

Thank God they did. They were true patriots in every sense of the word.